Dancing’s in my genes. On my mother’s side. Even at age 85 she wildly improvised to Paul Cebar at Bastille Days. She loved the human body in action, loved the movement and the freedom of dance. And so do I.
I love the movement and the freedom when I dance, when I watch dancers, and when I draw dancers. I almost always draw them from life, at rehearsals or performances, would never want a dancer to pose for me. After all, it’s the motion I’m after.
The element of surprise helps make an artwork come alive, the spontaneous brush stroke or pen stroke that becomes more than merely a mark. When I draw dancers in a darkened theater, my mind has an image of what I want, but I don’t quite know how it gets onto the paper. I know it has to do with getting into the flow, know that if I stared at the paper, tried to get an exact likeness, became picky, perfectionist, or self-conscious, I’d end up with one more drawing for the recycle bin. So my personal element of surprise is the moment the lights come back on, and I see what I’ve done.
Several years ago, when I decided to make lithographs of dancers, the surprise was the weight of the stone I had to draw on. I could not bring one to a dance performance. To get into the artistic flow, I closed my eyes as if I were in a dark theater instead of a print studio, imagined the dancers leaping and whirling, and drew them. Those lithos will be on exhibit at the Riverwest Co-op Café, 733 E Clarke Street, from October 1 to October 30.
Motion intrigues me, whether in dance or in floating clouds or rolling waves or in the beat of words in poems. Motion, light, shadows, reflections, forms and how they combine, humans and their relationship to each other and to their surroundings, these are my motifs and my motives. Oh? Am I writing an artist’s statement? I guess I am! That’s what I like about writing a blog, the freedom to move right through with words, sometimes without a subject or predicate, just a leap, not knowing where I’ll land.